HRT confident of 2011 progress

HRT boss Colin Kolles says he has every reason to feel confident that his team can deliver a step forward in performance in 2011, having overcome the odds in simply getting to the grid last year

HRT confident of 2011 progress

Kolles was drafted in by the Spanish outfit on the eve of the 2010 campaign to help rescue its stalling preparations for the season. He ensured the team not only got itself ready for the first race in Bahrain but also that it completed the full schedule.

Although the team still faces big hurdles in securing its financial base, and building up a solid technical infrastructure, Kolles is upbeat that HRT is ready to show that it can move forward in Formula 1 in 2011.

The team suffered a setback last year when a planned technical tie-up with Toyota for 2011 was terminated, but that has not stopped HRT's technical chief Geoff Willis pressing full-steam ahead with the team's new car - which it hopes to be ready for one of the final pre-season tests.

And Kolles believes that with Willis' input, plus the hydraulic tie-up with Williams, HRT has plenty of reasons to be optimistic about what it can achieve this year.

"The car looks completely different," Kolles told AUTOSPORT. "It looks more developed and improved.

"We obviously have a Williams rear end - with the hydraulics and the Cosworth engine. This package was able to qualify in the top 10 last year, so it cannot be that bad. That is not going to be our weak point.

"I hope we can improve on the aero package and, for sure, at the first race the car is not going to be a frontrunner - although you should never say never in F1! But we have to be realistic and we have to work hard."

Kolles has confirmed the team will begin its 2011 testing programme with its 2010 car, and said HRT hoped to have an interim version of the new model running as quickly as it can.

"We will run in the Valencia test with an old car, and maybe then we will have an interim car. We hope to run the new car as soon as possible - as soon as it is achievable."

When asked if he felt Willis had what he needed to deliver a step forward for HRT, Kolles said: "No - an engineer never has everything he needs. He wants more, of course, and we all want to improve more. We are a small team and we are trying to do a better job."

HRT's financial situation has been boosted by the signing of Narain Karthikeyan, who brings along sponsorship from the Tata Group. And although the outfit is still chasing further financial opportunities, Kolles believes his outfit is in no worse money shape than some other teams on the grid.

"I think that you shouldn't look at others, but I think maybe we have smaller problems than others have," he said.

"Every team needs sponsorship and money to improve and compete. It is very normal and a daily fight, and obviously the situation in the last 24 months is not easy. But everybody has to do his best and to fight and to keep it alive."

shares
comments
Kolles: Karthikeyan has improved

Previous article

Kolles: Karthikeyan has improved

Next article

Senna fears 2011 F1 hopes are fading

Senna fears 2011 F1 hopes are fading
Load comments
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Plus

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1’s elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he’s recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton Plus

How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton

OPINION: The Italian GP clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen followed a running theme in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight. Their close-quarters battles have often resulted in contact - and although Hamilton has shown a willingness to back off, Verstappen must learn to temper his aggression

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Two drivers produced maximum-score performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left several others ruing what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021